cover image Xenia


Arkadii Dragomoschenko. Sun and Moon Press, $12.95 (160pp) ISBN 978-1-55713-107-2

Dragomoschenko ( Description ), one of a new generation of younger Russian writers , is an original, though his writing shows the influence of the Russian poets of the early 20th century, of more contemporary Western writers, and of philosophers in particular. His imagery can be breathtaking: ``The wind has sculpted / into every corner of a circle. / The lava of swifts swarms again in the gorges / of the heights.'' His transitions from lyrical explorations of the world to abstract explorations of language are often deft: ``In the rapids of a gentle ice-free knife / the word snow boils up in a small cloud of fog, / a puff of number / slipping into arcades of arched negation.'' However, the poet's theoretical interests sometimes overwhelm the writing, particularly in the prose sections of this book. The compulsion to position the work theoretically leads occasionally to writing that would be at home in any anthology of deconstructionist texts: ``If we exclude the obviously extraneous, irrelevant fragment `into' (`in'), the vector of intrusion, involvement, precisely into spea(spar)king, into exhaustion, expiration, but with `ex,' `from,' as if it were transgressing the intentions of structure-- . . . '' This is not to say that Dragomoschenko's metapoetic impulses don't give force to his work; but one wonders why someone so brilliant would bother to be clever. (Apr.)